Patricia White, a North Shuswap grandmother, is escorted by RCMP for processing after being arrested in a protest of the expansion of the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline in Burnaby on March 24. (Photo contributed)

Letter: Canadians need to wake up about the environment

Regarding the article, Grandmother takes stand on pipeline – Salmon Arm Observer.

I was there in spirit, health and age making it difficult to do otherwise.

I find it extraordinary how cavalierly we treat our fresh waters, and the fish bearing ocean! This is doubly shocking, given that there are examples world wide of how contaminated water leads to ill health, and the loss of a fishery.

My family came here 70 years ago this coming June. We lived on the river Elbe, one of Europe’ major rivers. If you go there, and put your arm into the river to the elbow, your fingers are already murky.

And yet in my great grandfather’s time, there were Atlantic salmon a plenty even this far upstream (today’s Czech Republic), that a local mill owner had a written contract with his workers not to feed them salmon for lunch more than three times a week!

And you think this couldn’t happen here? Why? Because in 10,000 years the Indigenous people managed their waters with care, and protected the salmon?

Maybe we should start learning from them how they did it!

In conclusion, I cannot put it better than my friend Pat White does in her interview. I salute her courage. Some dozen years ago we met at a time when developers were piping sewage into our lake. We stopped that with the determined help of the community.

It is time for communities to step up and stop destruction of our life giving waters! We are today as dependent on the health of our physical habitat (environment) as our stone age ancestors were! Don’t believe me? So what would we do if fresh water disappeared? And if the air became unbreathable?

Our glass high rises would be the mega ghost towns and tombs of this wasteful civilization within a few days!

Wake up, my fellow Canadians! Wake up – now!

Eva Lyman, Celista

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